Developing The Katie Character

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

I hope all is well as you start this summer weekend. Harry and I are getting ready to celebrate July 4th with our family. The family is coming here, and that means lots of cleaning and preparation. We have so many papers to throw out and files to organize—not to mention washing the crystal and good china—it’s overwhelming—I’ll compromise and break it down into small chores over several days.

It reminded me of writing the book—the idea was almost paralyzing, but as I chipped away at it and accomplished one piece at a time, those feelings began to disappear. I developed the Katie character first. Who did I want her to be? I used my experiences as an emergency room nurse—it was what I knew—to build a framework. I had worked with surgeons and saw how many of them functioned—heard story after story—and I thought, why not place it in this environment that’s supposed to “do no harm?” I also wanted to show that abuse has no boundaries and decided to develop a victim from that environment to break the stereotype. I had met and treated many abused women from every background—a few were married to surgeons or doctors—I assumed there were others but were too afraid to even come into the emergency room.  I made lists of what I wanted Katie to be—young, just out of college, not experienced in the workplace or with men or finances. I wanted her to come from a privileged background, and I made Katie’s father a successful surgeon. I wanted to show the pattern of abuse and that “privilege” was not a get free pass—surrounded by money and power from birth—Katie had no access to it and was controlled by it.

Thank you, my Priscilla Bennett Friends, for listening and for all your support. Please visit my website at and read this blog, make a comment, write your own story and get helpful information. Remember the Priscilla Bennett Pledge to help someone by starting a conversation, giving a kind word in the grocery store or parking lot—a touch on the shoulder. We all have SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR.

Take good care of yourselves,